The Church Scorecard
I worked in retail while attending college and became quite familiar with mystery or secret shopping. For those of you who do not know what mystery shopping is, I'll provide you with a brief description. An independent company is hired by retail chains to send in a representative to evaluate a retail location according to predetermined criteria. One of the retail locations I worked for included the following on the mystery shopping scorecard:
- Associate greeted you within 60 seconds of arrival
- Associates are all wearing proper attire
- Clean work environment
- Associate attempts to up-sell at least 2 add-ons
- Properly check out
The mystery shopper would then give you a score based on your ability to meet the criteria. The scores of several associates and/or departments within the retail location would be combined to provide the store with its final score.
What score would your church receive?
This week we talked about going to church vs. being the church. Part of our conversation revolved around the importance of going to church as well as what we would define as "the perfect" church. This reminded me of our very first podcast where we talked about who is allowed to go to church/follow Jesus and how "the church" often receives new people. To the best of my knowledge, a church has not hired a mystery shopper to evaluate their Sunday morning service, but I wonder not only if churches would pass but also what type of criteria they would put on their scorecard to be evaluated against.
- Greeted by a friendly church member within 60 seconds of arrival
- Everyone is dressed in proper attire
- Church is clean
- You are asked to complete a visitor information card and provided with a free gift
- You are invited to an upcoming church event
The above seems to be the trend I've noticed as I've visited churches over the last couple years. I'm not criticizing it, I think that the way churches greet and approach visitors is important. I just wonder if what we deem as important is also what God would include in his "scorecard".
Listen to this week's Empty Conversation:
What score would you receive?
Lately Christians have been challenged to not just go to church but also be the church. In our discussion this week, we talked about what it means to "be the church" which led Kristal to ask when we last talked with someone about Jesus. Josh said that while he does not always bring up Jesus in every conversation he does bring his Christian worldview to every conversation. I asked him if he would fail the Christian Mystery Shop (Editor's Note: He confessed he probably would).I didn't want to answer that question personally because I was ashamed of my answer. I would probably fail.
If we are supposed to "be the church" what should that look like? If we're representing the church and therefore representing Christ, what would He include on our scorecard?
- Seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33)
- Love God and love your neighbor (Matthew 22:37-39)
- Love your enemies(Matthew 5:44)
- Let your light shine before others (Matthew 5:16)
- Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel (Mark 16:15)
I'm sure there are many more, these are just a few that came to mind. For me, it is a wake up call. I cannot honestly say that I am doing my best "being the church". This is why I believe that the tension between going to church and being the church is so important. Going to church strengthens me to not only pour back into others in that community but also "be the church" to those I meet in the world.
What do you think? Is one more important than the other? What score would you and/or your church receive?